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Colorado Rockies Top 5 corner infield and second base prospects for 2016

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An outline of the second base and corner infield depth in the Rockies system.

Ryan McMahon
Ryan McMahon
Charlie Drysdale

Looking at the Rockies infield Colorado has a strong group of players anchored by the gold glove tandem of Nolan Arenado at third base and DJ Lemahieu at second. Both players are under the age of 28 and are well balanced offensively and defensively. The only chink could be at first base where the Rockies brought in 32-year old Mark Reynolds in the off season as a free agent. Down on the farm, this team has strong depth with one in particular who could be making an impact in 2017.

This is a subjective list of the five best Rockies corner and second base infielders on the farm based on a mix of overall rankings from our own PuRPs list, Baseball America and MLB.com. In the absence of a clear ranking, then I used ceiling or relative closeness to the major leagues as a determining factor.

While any of the top shortstops in the system could end up being moved to second base or a corner infield position, this is an in depth look at players whose roles primarily reside at second, third or the first base positions.

1)    Ryan McMahon (No. 5 PuRP, No. 5 BA, No. No. 4 MLB.com)

6-foot-2, Weight 185 lbs, 2nd round of the 2013 draft

Rated as the No. 46 overall prospect by MLB.com, McMahon was a talented high school athlete who played quarterback in the same program that produced Matt Leinert and John Huarte. McMahon has been praised by scouting experts for his advanced power at such a young age and he carries a very high ceiling.

A third baseman with a sweet lefthanded swing. Ryan McMahon has shown easy pull power and an ability to make solid contact to all fields. Each year Ryan seems to adjust better and better to the more advanced pitchers he's facing. He's put up three incredible seasons, where he was at least two years younger than the competition, including a wRC+ of 147 in Grand Junction, 137 in Asheville and 141 in Modesto. Overall the California native has a .296/.371/.519 career slash with 47 home runs.

The only blemish in McMahon's status is his defense as he's committed 83 errors in three seasons at the hot corner. McMahon has good hands and a strong arm, but he rushes the throws and the accuracy isn't always there. It wasn't too long ago that a third base prospect named Nolan Arenado was also being questioned about his defense, but Arenado buckled down spent extra time to improve it, to the point where it's now considered gold glove caliber. Only time will tell if McMahon can do the same.

2)    Forrest Wall (No. 11 PuRP, No. 6 MLB)

6-foot, Weight 176 lbs, 1st round (35th) of the 2014 draft

One of the top second basemen in the country, Forrest Wall was ranked No. 88 overall by MLB.com in their Top 100. Wall has the skill and range to play shortstop, but a shoulder injury has limited his arm strength, making him an ideal candidate for second base. A left handed batter with gap power and speed to burn, Wall has hit .299/.382/.460 with 11 home runs and 44 stolen bases in his career.

Considered one of the top infield talents in the 2014 draft, only a handful of second basemen have been selected as high as Wall in the history of the MLB draft. Drafted out of high school, Wall has consistently hit against competition 2.5 years older than him. Wall has moved quickly throughout the organization and has shown the ability to adapt to advanced pitching at every stop so far.

3) Jordan Patterson, (No. 18 PuRP, No. 23 MLB)

6-foot-4, Weight 215 lbs, 4th round of the 2013 draft

A left-handed corner outfielder who has also spent time at first base, Jordan has the size you look for in a power hitting first baseman and his numbers reflect that ability, as he posted 45 doubles and 17 home runs last season split between the High-A and Double-A levels.

Despite his power, Jordan still can flash some speed as the Alabama native has 43 steals in his last two seasons combined. Older than his competition for most of his career, the 24-year-old was overlooked as an exciting prospect until he posted a strong campaign in 2015 after being promoted to Double-A New Britain.

4) Tyler Nevin (No. 20 PuRP, No. 17 MLB)

6-foot-4, Weight 200 lbs, 1st round (38th) of the 2015 draft

Drafted by the Rockies No. 35 overall in the 2015 draft due to a combination of his bloodlines and size. Nevin is the son of former No. 1 overall pick Phil Nevin, but Tyler has the size and skills to make it on his own. An athletic player at third base, Nevin is already filling out and is projected to put on additional muscle which could make him a strong power hitting corner infielder.

Nevin hit .265/.368/.386 in 53 games for Grand Junction last year and was almost three years younger than the competition. A left handed bat with gap power, Nevin showed patience and the ability to take a free pass, walking 42 times on the season. The Rockies will likely take it slow with Nevin due to his age and will probably send him to Short-season Boise for this year.

5) Mylz Jones, (NR)

6-foot-1, Weight 185 lbs, 13th round of the 2015 draft

A super utility player who appeared in nearly every position for Grand Junction in 2015. The only place Mylz hasn't played yet is first base, pitcher and catcher. The 21-year-old Jones was a little old for the Pioneer league last season, which will hurt his prospect status in some eyes, but he hit well enough at .300/.366/.401 in 52 games for Grand Junction with 12 stolen bases.

The right handed hitting Jones is a prime candidate to move quickly through the organization due to his maturity and versatility.

Honorable Mentions:

Roberto Ramos, 6-foot-5, weight 220 lbs, 16th round of the 2014 draft

A mountain of a man at first base whose listed weight doesn't come close to his actual size as he was listed at 220 pounds his freshman year in college. Ramos could arguably have the most power potential in the Rockies organization. Drafted out of junior college, Ramos had a breakout year in 2015 after a mid season promotion to Asheville when he launched 10 home runs in 46 games.

The left handed batter had a .268 isolated slugging and 185 wRC+ in Asheville after posting a .316 ISO and 146 wRC+  in Grand Junction prior to his promotion. Ramos is having a strong start in Modesto this season after implementing a change in his approach at the plate, for more info on that including video of the big slugger visit Bobby Demuro's article from spring training.

Ryan Casteel, 5-foot-11, Weight 205 lbs, 17th round of the 2010 draft

A strong hitting talent who the Rockies have begun testing at first base, Casteel has seen his production limited for the past two years due to multiple injuries. The highlight of Casteel's minor league career was in 2013 when the Tennessee native slammed 22 home runs and 30 doubles in High-A Modesto. Casteel loves to play the game and has become a world traveler in the off season playing for teams in the Australian and Dominican winter leagues.

Casteel has spent the majority of his minor league career as a catcher, but his versatility could make him a dark horse candidate to receive a promotion to the big leagues. This year could be the last chance for Casteel, as the 26-year-old will be a minor league free agent after the season.